Cape Porcupine

Hystrix africaeaustralis

Body Length:18"– 24"
Tail Length:7"
Weight: 39–69 lbs
Geographic Distribution:Central and southern Africa
Habitat: Savannahs, grasslands, and forests
Wild Diet: Leaves, flowers, stems, bark, roots, and tubers
Zoo Diet:Example: Commercial softbill pellet, fruit, vegetables, insects, and mice
Status in the Wild:Least Concern
Location:Desert's Edge

Contrary to rumors, porcupines cannot shoot their quills. Instead, when threatened, they run backwards or sideways into their predators to stab them. Some of the quills on a porcupine's tail are hollow and rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to predators. Baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are born with wet, soft, flexible quills that begin to harden a few minutes after birth.